Earl Cameron (born 8 August 1917) is a British actor. He is known as one of the first black actors to break the "colour bar" in the United Kingdom. He also had repeated appearances on many British science fiction programmes of the 1960s, including Doctor Who, The Prisoner and The Andromeda Breakthrough.
He understudied with Amanda Ira Aldridge, an opera singer, singer, teacher and composer. She was also the daughter of the famed Ira Aldridge, the legendary black American actor. His breakthrough acting role was in The Pool of London, a 1951 film set in postwar London involving racial prejudice, romance, and a diamond robbery. He won much critical acclaim for his role in the film.
From the 1950s to the present day he had major parts in many films including: The Heart Within (1957) in which he played a character Victor Conway in a crime movie yet again set in the London docklands; and Sapphire (1959) in which played Dr Robbins, the brother of a murdered girl; and The Message (1976) - the story of the Prophet Muhammad.
His other film appearances have included: Tarzan the Magnificent (1960) in which he played Tate; Flame in the Streets (1961) in which he played Gabriel Gomez; Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963) in which he played Mang; Guns at Batasi (1964) in which he played Captain Abraham; Battle Beneath the Earth (1967) in which he played Sargeant Seth Hawkins; Sandwich Man (1966) in which he played a bus conductor; and the James Bond movie Thunderball (1965) in which he played Bond's Caribbean assistant Pinder Romania.
His most recent film appearances include a major role in The Interpreter (2005) in which he played the fictitious dictator Edmond Zuwanie. His performance was universally praised. The Baltimore Sun wrote: "Earl Cameron is magnificent as the slimy old fraud of a dictator..." The Rolling Stone described Mr. Cameron's appearance as "subtle and menacing." Philip French in The Observer referred to "that fine Caribbean actor Earl Cameron." In 2006 he appeared in the film The Queen, alongside Helen Mirren.
He appeared in a range of popular TV shows including five episodes of the TV series Dangerman (Secret Agent in the US) alongside series star Patrick McGoohan. He worked with McGoohan again in 1967 when he appeared in the TV series The Prisoner as the Haitian supervisor in the episode "The Schizoid Man".
His other television work includes Emergency Ward 10, The Zoo Gang, Crown Court (two different stories , each 3 episodes long in 1973), Jackanory (a BBC children's series in which he read five of the Brer Rabbit stories in 1971), Dixon of Dock Green, Doctor Who, Neverwhere, Waking the Dead (TV series), Kavanagh QC, Babyfather, EastEnders (a small role as a Mr Lambert), Dalziel and Pascoe, and Lovejoy.
He also appeared in a number of other one-off TV dramas including: Television Playhouse (1957); A World Inside BBC (1962); ITV Play of the Week (two stories - The Gentle Assassin (1962) and I Can Walk Where I Like Can't I? (1964); the BBC's Wind Versus Polygamy (1968); ITV's A Fear of Strangers (1964) in which he played Ramsay, a black saxophonist and small-time criminal who is detained by the police on suspicion of murder and who is also racially abused by a Chief Inspector Dyke played by Stanley Baker; Festival: the Respectful Prostitute (1964); ITV Play of the Week - The Death of Bessie Smith (1965); Theatre 625: The Minister (1965); The Great Kandinsky (1994); and two episodes of Thirty-Minute Theatre (Anything You Say 1969 and another in 1971).